Monday, September 21, 2009

A Tribute to the life of Ezra Taft Benson

I just listened to a delightful and touching tribute to Ezra Taft Benson given by his son Reed Benson. The talk was give just a few days after President Benson's death, the day before his funeral, in fact. Reed Benson had been scheduled to speak at an LDS Home Educators Association conference that week (he and his wife were pioneers in the LDS homeschool movement). In light of his father's passing, he spoke about him.
Ezra Taft Benson was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for many years. Eight of those years he also served as the Secretary of Agriculture, appointed by President Eisenhower. In the aftermath of World War II, Elder Benson was sent to Europe with the responsibility to re-build the Church organization there and coordinate the distribution of humanitarian aid. The story of that mission is told in the book On Wings of Faith by Frederick Babbel (who accompanied Elder Benson on that trip).
In 1985, Ezra Taft Benson became the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. As a youth I looked to him as the Lord's Prophet, called to lead His church in our time. He passed away in 1994, when I was 16 years old. I was touched listening to this tribute to his life and work given by his son Reed.

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